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Tip sheet

For immediate use

March 8, 2007

Use daylight-saving change to practice
healthy sleep habits for adults, children

Ah, daylight-saving time. An extra hour to enjoy life outside. An extra hour to stay up late. And an hour less to sleep.

What should we do when the clock jukes and jives with our circadian rhythms, those biological waves that regulate our sleep?

It’s bad enough for adults, who understand the concept. What about kids, who will want to squeeze out every last drop of sunshine? The sun’s still up, how can it be bedtime?

Dr. Maha Alattar, assistant professor of neurology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, is available to talk about tips for getting our bodies back on track and easing the transition for children.

The time change affords an opportunity to learn about, and practice, sound sleep habits, Alattar says. “They can be for every day, not just twice a year.”

Among Alattar’s suggestions:

Many of these techniques hold true for kids – basically, increase outdoor activities during the day and curtail outside play and inside activities, including computer work, close to bedtime. 

For more information, Alattar recommends visiting the American Academy of Sleep Medicine: aasmnet.org

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UNC Health Care contact: Stephanie Crayton, (919) 966-2860
News Services contact: Clinton Colmenares, (919) 843-1991, clinton_colmenares@unc.edu